A group of young people from Helensburgh had a once in a lifetime experience of meeting and chatting with music legend Nile Rodgers of Chic fame when he recently curated the Fiesta X Fold musical festival in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park.
The private back stage session was arranged by the Chic Organisation, following a request made by Stuart Duncan, Trustee, on behalf of the charity Helensburgh Heroes.
The charity was founded in the belief that everyone is special, has the power to do great things but that sometimes you just need a catalyst to set you on your way. For that catalyst substitute ‘inspiration/role model’. The Charity fully opened its ‘Heroes Centre’ in Helensburgh earlier this year which aims to provide an environment of celebration, achievement and inspiration.
Stuart explained: ‘We are currently developing a wide ranging events programme at the Centre that caters for the whole community including our Tales from the Big Chair programme. This involves a guest speaker discussing their life and experiences in a ‘Actors Studio’ format and closes with a short Q&A session. Our guest speakers will be drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and industries but all of them are inspiring.”
“I approached Nile through his management team and he was keen to participate in a session. We were all hoping that he might be able to visit the Centre and we waited until the final minute but his schedule presented impossible logistical challenges. We were then invited to be his personal guests for the day to host the Big Chair session backstage at the festival and had the challenge of arranging this within 48 hours but I’m delighted to say that we made it.”
Following a late appeal, several young people applied to join the Charity for the event, including talented aspiring local musicians Louis Page and Emma Murdoch, and with the help of several parents made the journey from the Centre to Kelvingrove on Sunday afternoon.
Whilst the crowds out front were enjoying the music of Goldfrapp, the Helensburgh group were sat backstage chatting with Nile about his philosophy, his ideas and his personal journey. Despite his crazy personal schedule, curating the actual festival and later headlining with Chic, Nile spent nearly an hour with the group answering questions. He was very relaxed, charming and extremely frank when talking about his own personal journey. Nile covered everything from his choice of guitar, his song writing techniques to the artists that he has either produced or recorded with.
He finished the session with the following advice to any young person wishing to be a musician, artist or performer “Truly love your art, be determined and embrace the failure.”
The group were then invited to stay for the performances of Emeli Sande, who Nile had revealed was working in the Abbey Road studios with him on new material, and Chic before departing home.
It was an incredible experience for all of those that attended and one which the Charity hopes to replicate many times over as it announces future events.
Nile’s management team stated that they were delighted to have been able to host the session and that both Nile and the Chic Organisation hoped the younger members of the group were even more inspired with life and to get out and go for it.
Stuart added” We are so pleased with the responses that we are receiving to our requests from Big Chair potential guests and to the charity’s overall objectives. I think the community will be genuinely delighted with our future programme.”
The next Tales From the Big Chair event is on Thursday 12th July at the Centre and hosts author Robin Lloyd-Jones who will be speaking about his life and his latest book ‘Autumn Voices’. Tickets are available from the Centre or from Eventbrite HERE